Local April 24, 2021 | 11:19 am

Two Dominican sisters who have turned recycling into a novel business

With old notebooks and discarded blueprints, they do big business.


Santo Domingo, D.R.

From an old pastime of 10 years ago, sisters Anna Sofia and Anna Paula came up with a business idea that today they exhibit with Dominican pride for its originality and sustainability, since their production of cards, sheets and labels, and boxes are made with their hands at home and, even the drawings and paints, are placed with natural fruit waste.

It is Papel & Agua (Paper & Water). This new business attracts users of networks such as Instagram, a medium through which they are marketing their 100% handmade recycled elaborations.

“God gave us everything to undertake,” says Anna Sofia, one of the sisters who owns the idea and the business. One is 19 years old and the other 24.

One is a psychology student and the other an architect. Both young women are natives of the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo, but their roots come from La Vega. Their surname, De la Mota Canaán, is well known in that region.

sisters Anna Sofia and Anna Paula


Can you imagine where they get the paper for recycling? It comes from their old notebooks and the plans available for disposal in the office where the architect works.

Environmental contribution
“Right now, our biggest goal is that we are advocating for a sustainable and totally original material, We are a young project that arises during a time when many are looking for green solutions, where there is a great encouragement to support local businesses, which contribute positively to the environment,” explains Anna Sofia.

She commented that last summer was when they started their experiment, and already in December, they began to sell their productions.

Their buyers are young people and adults. They are also receiving many customers who are entrepreneurs and are looking for environmentally friendly solutions and are using this type of paper that they prepare.

She said that they look for ways to evolve with each client, which they consider fun and exciting, having a young business to experiment with each client.

A motivation that can be useful to other people, especially young people, is that they have never, at any time since the beginning of the experiment, left their homes to buy any supplies because they understood that they had at hand everything they needed to start their project, “without going out to buy anything.” He reiterated that they recycled their own paper and materials with the supplies they had at home and even invented them.

It is what they understand that this can be motivating. That you can’t close yourself on what you don’t have, but use what is within reach.

The business has no premises. Orders are through the Instagram network.

When processing old paper or plans, he says that you have to see the amount of paper that is achieved. Another of the joys of this innovative project, says Anna Paula, it is also incredible the number of people who have been willing to donate paper, to which has joined her boss at work and her colleagues, in whose office there is a new language of recycling paper and invite her to take a cover of plans every two months.

The designs of Agua & Papel are made by Jihad Canaán, a graphic designer and her mother Karina Canaán, who supports them in the art, and AnnaKarina Sebelen, who is another collaborator.

Architect Karen Herrera designed the Agua & Papel logo, and the rest of the art and design was sent to them by clients. “We just help them make the most of the paper and let their logo shine.”

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